UK-Iranian begins fresh hunger strike in Tehran jail

Updated 15 June 2019

UK-Iranian begins fresh hunger strike in Tehran jail

  • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, is refusing food as she marks her daughter’s fifth birthday, Richard Ratcliffe said in a statement
  • She was arrested in April 2016 as she was leaving Iran after taking their infant daughter to visit her family

LONDON: A British-Iranian mother being held in a Tehran prison on sedition charges has begun another hunger strike in protest at her detention, her husband said Saturday.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, is refusing food as she marks her daughter’s fifth birthday, Richard Ratcliffe said in a statement.
His wife was arrested in April 2016 as she was leaving Iran after taking their infant daughter to visit her family. She was sentenced to five years for allegedly trying to topple the Iranian government.
“She had informed the judiciary that she has begun a new hunger strike (she will drink water) — to protest at her continuing unfair imprisonment,” he said.
“This is something she had been threatening for a while. Nazanin had vowed that if we passed Gabriella’s fifth birthday with her still inside, then she would do something — to mark to both governments — that enough is enough. This really has gone on too long.”
A project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the media group’s philanthropic arm, she denies all charges.
She previously went on hunger strike in January.
“Her demand from the strike, she said, is for unconditional release. She has long been eligible for it,” said Ratcliffe.
“I do not know the response from the Iranian authorities.”
He urged the Iranian authorities to release her immediately, for the British embassy to be allowed to check on her health, and, if she is not released within the coming weeks, for him to be granted a visa to visit her.
Last month, London changed its travel advice for British-Iranian dual nationals, warning them against all travel to Iran, citing Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case.


The famous Egyptian city square that shaped a nation’s history

Updated 16 sec ago

The famous Egyptian city square that shaped a nation’s history

  • Following the two mass demonstrations, Tahrir Square, which lies at the midpoint of Cairo, has become not only a significant part of Egyptian history but also a popular tourist attraction

CAIRO: As famous city squares go, few can have played a more prominent role in shaping a country’s history than Tahrir Square in Cairo.

Best known for providing the stage for nationwide protests, which led to the ouster of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the public gathering place is one of the capital’s most important sites.

For 18 consecutive days, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators — some reports put the number at millions — descended on the square before Mubarak finally resigned after 30 years in power.

And the anti-Mubarak protests were not the only political demonstrations Tahrir, also known as Martyr Square, has witnessed.

On June 30, 2013, a year after Mohamed Mursi became the Egyptian president, thousands of protesters gathered in the square demanding his resignation.

Following the two mass demonstrations, Tahrir (Liberation) Square, which lies at the midpoint of Cairo, has become not only a significant part of Egyptian history but also a popular tourist attraction.

Directly after the protests, Egyptians and foreigners feared venturing into Tahrir after it gained a reputation for being unsafe, despite a heavy police presence.

Nine years on from its most significant event, the square is now once again bustling with commuters being within walking distance of the Abdel-Moneim Riad bus station and a transport hub.

Tahrir is also home to the Egyptian Museum which houses more than 100,000 artifacts from the country.

The square is overlooked by the downtown branch of The American University in Cairo, one of the most famous international educational institutions in the country and the Arab world. In 2008, the university relocated to New Cairo, in the Fifth Settlement, taking with it a significant amount of traffic.

Renovation work resumed this month in the square, part of which will involve the addition of four rams restored from Karnak Temple’s Hall of Celebration in Luxor. They will be placed around an obelisk being moved from Sun Al-Hajar in the east of Egypt.

With the Egyptian Museum due to relocate to Haram, near the Giza pyramids, the future of the square is not clear. But with its history, offices, schools, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, and timeworn residential buildings, Tahrir Square is guaranteed never to be short of visitors.